£353 million lost on faulty cars in 2013 prompting HPI to warn buyers not to fall into the same trap via http://www.hpicheck.co.uk

As news continues to confirm that buyers are bearing the burden when it comes to used car repairs*, HPI reveals that an alarming 4 out of 5 used cars bought have at least one hidden fault, which costs an average £225 to fix, whilst 1 in 9 faulty cars bought cost over £1000 to repair.  Over £353million was spent on faulty vehicles over the past 12 months, according to Citizens Advice, a figure that vehicle information expert HPI believes could indeed be much higher.

Shane Teskey, Senior Consumer Services Manager for HPI, explains: “Last year 2.7 million used cars were sold privately in the UK and Northern Ireland, which could equate to over £480 million pounds spent on faulty cars being repaired. Too many used car buyers are falling foul of dodgy cars from shifty sellers. Don’t be hoodwinked into parting with your cash without conducting rigorous checks. People rarely buy a house without having a survey, so why would they happily buy a car without having it inspected?”

HPI goes on to reveal that that 1 in 5 cars need a cash injection of £550 to keep them on the road, leaving the buyer significantly out of pocket. Something as seemingly straightforward as replacing worn tyres could cost £320 for a Focus or similar, and £1,200 to £1,800 for a 4X4 BMW X5 or similar. All of which goes to show the value of having an independent vehicle inspection conducted before purchase.

By checking over 200 individual items on a car, an HPI Inspection, carried out by a highly trained vehicle assessor, will help consumers choose a vehicle that’s roadworthy and safe to drive as well as establish if the car has been in an accident and subsequently repaired. It will also expose any faults, such as worn brakes, exhausts and tyres, and uncover any hidden defects to the interior and exterior body panels. With prices starting from just £99.00, used car buyers will be spending much less than the cost of buying a banger in disguise.

Teskey concludes, “Most people think it’s the older cars that are more prone to having faults, but did you know that 20% of cars fail their first MoT at three years old? Having a qualified engineer cast their expert eye over a potential used car purchase, combined with a vehicle history check from HPI, will give you the ultimate peace of mind.”


HPI’s Top Tips for Avoiding a Wreck

It’s just back here…

Are you viewing the car in full light, at the registered keepers address? Or is it parked against a wall, under cover with dim light, in a backstreet alley? Scratches and dents are harder to see in poor light, or if the paintwork is wet. A common scam is to sell vehicles from car parks or lay-bys – don’t fall for it.

It’s been spruced up just for you

Beware a clean engine bay. Most sellers will clean the car from top to bottom as they want to display it in its best light. However, sometimes this can be a ploy to disguise things such as leaks. A trained vehicle inspector stands a better chance of spotting any leaks than the untrained eye.

It looks just like new

And some parts might be. New fittings that are not appropriate for the age and mileage of the car should make you take a second look. If the car has had new pedal rubbers fitted, or a brand new gear knob, is excessive wear and tear being hidden?

She’s ready to go out for a spin

Be wise to the warm engine prior to the test drive. Ideally start the car from both hot and cold. If the engine has been running prior to your test drive, there may be an issue around cold starts that is being hidden.

I’ll show you that

Beware vendor demonstrations. They know just how to flick a switch, turn a knob or pull a handle to ensure correct functionality of a system. Best try the item yourself.

A tyre-d old tale

Replacement tyres may have been fitted because of uneven tyre wear and may
be masking the presence of steering, suspension and alignment concerns.
New tyres look good but can mask significant defects.

Know your history

Ensure the maintenance book refers to the vehicle you’re looking at. One should be cautious if details appear to have been altered or show signs of being tampered with.